Murder conviction improves justice for cyclists

Neil Storm Stphany, 24, was driving under the influence of heroin when he murdered a bicyclist in a hit-and-run crash in Newport Beach. He was found guilty by a jury of felony murder October 26. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison. We encourage you to attend his sentencing next Jan. 15, at 9:00 am, in Department C-37, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Niel Stephany pic

Addict Stephany has been convicted of murder, his pickup was his weapon.

At approximately 5:00 p.m. on Oct 19 of last year, Stephany drove a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, while under the influence of heroin, westbound on PCH in Newport Beach. Just east of Los Trancos he swerved into the bike lane and drove into the back of 30-year-old bicyclist Shaun Eagleson. He then continued into the guardrail and left the scene without stopping.

Witnesses called 911 to report Stephany’s as he drove away from the scene. Paramedics arrived and transported Eagleson to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo where
he later died from his injuries.

Newport Beach Police located and arrested Stephany half an hour later near Newport Center Drive and East Coast Highway. He had a 2011 DUI conviction and in 2013 signed a statement at that time acknowledging that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker successfully prosecuted this case.

October CyclingSavvy Irvine Recap

We had another great experience this past weekend teaching CyclingSavvy in Irvine with an outstanding group of students. Everyone came with a willingness to learn new techniques and problem-solving strategies and to try them out on the road.  It really made our job as instructors easy.

Thanks to Lee Stebbins for volunteering to help out on Saturday and to Jax Bicycles for graciously allowing us to use their Irvine shop for the “Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling” presentation.

Since Stacy & I were in France this summer to ride the 100 Cols Tour and Paris-Brest-Paris, this was our first CyclingSavvy class since June and it filled quickly.

Fellow CyclingSavvy instructors Brian Cox, Vice President of Operations for Jax Bicycles and Pete van Nuys, Executive Director of the Orange County Bicycle Coalition will be leading the November CyclingSavvy class on November 12th (Truth & Techniques classroom portion) and November 14th (Train Your Bike! and Tour of Irvine, skills and road portion). Sign up for this class on the CyclingSavvy site.

If you would like to be notified about upcoming classes you can sign up for notifications in your area on the CyclingSavvy site.

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Make Video Evidence Ticketable by Police – the Movement

If you video a tailgating motorist blasting the horn at you, revving their engine, maybe “brush passing” inches from your elbow, that’s assault.
And if that motorist actually hits you or your bicycle, that’s battery.

CaptureBut if that callous and aggressive attack on you isn’t witnessed by a police officer, that video evidence cannot be used– legally– to cite or arrest the perpetrator.
Here’s the site of the organization behind the movement to change things:

“We are very happy to announce that our mobilization and pressure resulted in a Summit at CHP Golden Gate Division Headquarters with Chief Ernie Sanchez, a key representative from CHP Headquarters, key staff members from CHP GGD,’s Founder, Craig Davis, and our member cyclist. It was a respectful and productive meeting where CHP stated that they are prohibited by law from citing reckless driving or 3 Foot law violations using bicycle mounted video evidence. They also said that our persistent pressure forced an internal review and learning process that that they appreciated.”

Get involved on the national level here: